Farrington football coach Randall Okimoto took time from his busy schedule for a Q&A with Hawaii Prep World.
The Governors will meet No. 1 Kahuku for the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I championship on Friday at Aloha Stadium. They upset then-No. 4 Kapolei 33-27 on Saturday.
HPW: How is everyone, including staff, feeling physically and emotionally after Saturday’s win over Kapolei?
Okimoto: Our feeling as a whole as a team is of joy. After the win, we agreed that we would have 36 hours to celebrate the win. Now our focus must be on Kahuku.
HPW: What were the things you looked forward to seeing most on video when you had the time?
Okimoto: The theme of the week was to act like champions. Champions do not blame; they respond with action. So, considering we had 11 penalties, we were delighted to see that our team responded with resolve and not feel sorry for themselves especially after that negated the TD.
(Note: The TD was a 1-yard run by Challen Faamatau that was nullified by a holding penalty during what turned out to be Farrington’s game-winning drive in the final minute.)
HPW: The centipede formation in the last 2 minutes near the goal line — was that borrowed from Michigan? Did it go as well as expected aside from the holding penalty? The timing was outstanding and crazy at the same time.
Okimoto: Yes, that formation we call the “funky” was inspired by Michigan. And if there was any one moment in the game to do it, it was definitely when we used it.
HPW: Last year, Challen was 0-for-2 with one INT as a passer. This year, he was 0-for-1 going into the game, so he was due for another pick, right? What gave you so much confidence in his ability to make the game-winning TD pass?
Okimoto: Our young men have been blessed with God-given abilities. Challen has shown he can throw the ball. He just needed some practice at it. The throw he made was possible through the effort he put in to get better.
HPW: What else really popped out as a key to the team’s performance on defense and special teams?
Okimoto: Our team showed that they really wanted to win because through all the moments when they were down, they fought their way back. As a staff, that’s all we can ask for: not just the win but the will to win.
HPW: I was going to interview you after the game, but you and (Kapolei offensive coordinator and former UH head coach) June Jones were in a conversation. It looked like he was drawing up something with his notepad on the hood of a car (in the stadium tunnel).
Okimoto: The conversation with June Jones was insightful. Any time I can spend some time with a coach like him, who by the way was very gracious and humble, it’s encouraging and uplifting. I’m thankful that he is coaching high school football.